Eugene O’Neill
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Eugene O’Neill

American Playwright, 1888-1953. Eugene Gladstone O'Neill. (October 16, 1888 – November 27, 1953) was an American playwright and . Nobel laureate. in . Literature. . His poetically titled plays were among the first to introduce into American drama techniques of .

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Eugene O’Neill

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Eugene O’Neill

American Playwright, 1888-1953


Eugene Gladstone O'Neill

(October 16, 1888 – November 27, 1953) was an American playwright and

Nobel laureate



. His poetically titled plays were among the first to introduce into American drama techniques of


earlier associated with Russian playwright

Anton Chekhov

, Norwegian playwright

Henrik Ibsen

, and Swedish playwright

August Strindberg



plays were among the first to include speeches in American


and involve characters on the fringes of


, where they struggle to maintain their hopes and aspirations, but ultimately slide into disillusionment and despair. O'Neill wrote only one well-known comedy (

Ah, Wilderness!




Nearly all of his other plays involve some degree of


and personal


(Wikipedia, November 5, 2012)


Family Life

O’Neill in 1893

On the beach with first wife and Eugene O’Neill, Jr.




, Eugene


, Eugene O’Neill

in happier times



Major works

1914-1920Bread and Butter, 1914Servitude, 1914The Personal Equation, 1915Now I Ask You, 1916Beyond the Horizon, 1918 - Pulitzer Prize, 1920The Straw, 1919Chris Christophersen, 1919Gold, 1920Anna Christie, 1920 - Pulitzer Prize, 1922The Emperor Jones, 1920

The 1920s


, 1921

The First Man

, 1922

The Hairy Ape

, 1922

The Fountain

, 1923

Marco Millions

, 1923–25

All God's


Got Wings

, 1924


, 1924

Desire Under the Elms

, 1925

Lazarus Laughed

, 1925–26

The Great God Brown

, 1926

Strange Interlude

, 1928


Pulitzer Prize




Major works

1931-1953Mourning Becomes Electra, 1931Ah, Wilderness!, 1933Days Without End, 1933The Iceman Cometh, written 1939, published 1940 First performed 1946Hughie, written 1941, first performed 1959Long Day's Journey Into Night, written 1941, first performed 1956 Pulitzer Prize 1957A Moon for the Misbegotten, written 1941–1943, first performed 1947A Touch of the Poet, completed in 1942 First performed 1958More Stately Mansions, second draft found in O'Neill's papers First performed 1967The Calms of Capricorn, published in 1983


The Glencairn Plays



Plays, all of which feature characters on the fictional ship


—filmed together as

The Long Voyage Home


Bound East for Cardiff

, 1914

In The Zone

, 1917

The Long Voyage Home

, 1917

Moon of the


, 1918


Other Short Plays

A Wife for a Life, 1913

The Web, 1913

Thirst, 1913

Recklessness, 1913

Warnings, 1913

Fog, 1914

Abortion, 1914

The Movie Man: A Comedy,



Sniper, 1915

Before Breakfast, 1916

Ile, 1917

The Rope, 1918

Shell Shock, 1918

The Dreamy Kid, 1918

Where the Cross Is Made, 1918

Exorcism 1919



The early plays



1918 - Bound East for Cardiff at Provincetown Playhouse


Provincetown Playhouse on the Wharf, 1918


From the Wooster Group


Lithograph of the Glencairn


The Wooster Group


The Wooster Group/New York City Players Early PlaysBased on the Glencairn Plays by Eugene O’NeillDirected by Richard Maxwell Produced by The Wooster Group

“A rare collaboration between two avant-garde powerhouses



Wooster Group and Richard Maxwell’s New York City Players.



New York Magazine

[Richard Maxwell is] “One of the most innovative and essential artists to emerge from American experimental theater in the past decade




The New York Times

“Essentially what Maxwell has done is transform O’Neill into Beckett.




It’s not every day that two of America’s most renowned experimental theater companies share the same stage. The Wooster Group and New York City Players bring their much heralded, award-winning collaboration,

Early Plays

, to San Francisco for three nights only. A reprise of thee one-act plays by Eugene O’Neill known collectively as the “


plays” —

Bound East for Cardiff


The Long Voyage Home

(1917), and

The Moon of the


(1918) —

Early Plays

recounts the tales of a group of sailors on a tramp steamer, exposing the under belly of turn-of-the-century maritime life and the longing and loneliness of life at sea. The episodes are threaded together with haunting melodies, composed and written by director Richard Maxwell, and staged with a simplicity and grace that allow these simple stories to resonate deeply and emotionally.

Since its inception in 1975, the Wooster Group has been celebrated as one of the most vibrant and vital voices in contemporary American theater. Known for their pioneering explorations with new technology and multidisciplinary art forms, they have left an indelible mark on contemporary performance. New York City Players, under the direction of Richard Maxwell, is a company known for its original productions rigorously stripped of theatrical artifice. The collaboration of these two companies created a ripple of excitement in the New York theater establishment and resulted in an Obie Award for direction for Richard Maxwell.


O'Neill was married to Kathleen Jenkins from October 2, 1909 to 1912, during which time they had one son, Eugene O'Neill, Jr. (1910–1950). In 1917, O'Neill met Agnes Boulton, a successful writer of commercial fiction, and they married on April 12, 1918. The years of their marriage—during which the couple lived in Bermuda and had two children, Shane and Oona—are described vividly in her 1958 memoir Part of a Long Story. They divorced in 1929, after O'Neill abandoned Boulton and the children for the actress Carlotta Monterey (born San Francisco, California, December 28, 1888; died Westwood, New Jersey, November 18, 1970). O'Neill and Carlotta married less than a month after he officially divorced his previous wife.

Carlotta Monterey in a

1930 production of O’Neill’sThe Hairy Ape




In 1929, O'Neill and Monterey moved to the Loire Valley in central France, where they lived in the Château du Plessis in Saint-Antoine-du-Rocher, Indre-et-Loire. During the early 1930s they returned to the United States and lived in Sea Island, Georgia, at a house called Casa Genotta. He moved to Danville, California in 1937 and lived there until 1944. His house there, Tao House, is today the Eugene O'Neill National Historic Site.In their first years together, Monterey organized O'Neill's life, enabling him to devote himself to writing. She later became addicted to potassium bromide, and the marriage deteriorated, resulting in a number of separations. Although they separated several times, they never divorced.


In 1943, O'Neill disowned his daughter Oona for marrying the English actor, director and producer Charlie Chaplin when she was 18 and Chaplin was 54. He never saw Oona again.He also had distant relationships with his sons. Eugene O'Neill, Jr., a Yale classicist, suffered from alcoholism and committed suicide in 1950 at the age of 40. and Shane O'Neill, became a heroin addict and moved into the family home in Bermuda, Spithead, with his new wife, where he supported himself by selling off the furnishings. He was disowned by his father before also committing suicide (by jumping out of a window) a number of years later. Oona ultimately inherited Spithead and the connected estate (subsequently known as the Chaplin Estate).


After suffering from multiple health problems (including depression and alcoholism) over many years, O'Neill ultimately faced a severe Parkinsons-like tremor in his hands which made it impossible for him to write during the last 10 years of his life; he had tried using dictation but found himself unable to compose in that way. While at Tao House, O’Neill had intended to write a cycle of 11 plays chronicling an American family since the 1800s. Only two of these, A Touch of the Poet and More Stately Mansions were ever completed. As his health worsened, O’Neill lost inspiration for the project and wrote three largely autobiographical plays, The Iceman Cometh, Long Day's Journey Into Night, and A Moon for the Misbegotten. He managed to complete Moon for the Misbegotten in 1943, just before leaving Tao House and losing his ability to write. Drafts of many other uncompleted plays were destroyed by Carlotta at Eugene’s request.


O'Neill died in Room 401 of the Sheraton Hotel on Bay State Road in Boston, on November 27, 1953, at the age of 65. As he was dying, he, in a barely audible whisper, spoke his last words: "I knew it. I knew it. Born in a hotel room and died in a hotel room."[15] (The building later became the Shelton Hall dormitory at Boston University. There is an urban legend perpetuated by students that O'Neill's spirit haunts the room and dormitory.) A revised analysis of his autopsy report shows that, contrary to the previous diagnosis, he did not have Parkinson's disease, but a late-onset cerebellar cortical atrophy.


He is interred in the Forest Hills Cemetery in Boston's Jamaica Plain neighborhood.In 1956 Carlotta arranged for his autobiographical masterpiece Long Day's Journey Into Night to be published, although his written instructions had stipulated that it not be made public until 25 years after his death. It was produced on stage to tremendous critical acclaim and won the Pulitzer Prize in 1957. This last play is widely considered to be his finest. Other posthumously-published works include A Touch of the Poet (1958) and More Stately Mansions (1967).The United States Postal Service honored O'Neill with a Prominent Americans series (1965–1978) $1 postage stamp.



O’Neill, A Glory of Ghosts, Part One (1986)

A Glory of Ghosts, Part Two (1986)

Eugene O’Neill, The American Experience (2009)

The National Theatre on O’Neill